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Sunday, December 26, 2004

Why I Bother

The Crafty Conservative

First, Merry Christmas!

Now...to my topic of the day. Why I bother going to church with a toddler. Today was the worst day ever for our little frog at church. He was totally cranky and volatile. Not fun. It doesn't help that we were visiting my mom's building (we're in Oklahoma for the holidays) and her ward doesn't start until 2pm (prime naptime). But, really, I sometimes wonder whether or not it is worth it. So, I thought up some reasons on why I even bother going every week (even though I rarely get to hear any of the speakers).

1. I have a testimony. I'm a believer. Going to church is a real help to me. It strengthens my beliefs and helps me make it through the week. Even if I don't get to hear what everyone says, I can feel the Spirit and enjoy the company of others.

2. My little frog learns things there each week. Okay, he's only 23 months (almost) and he goes into the nursery after our main meeting. But, I'm amazed at the things he says and does when he comes home. The other day he started saying "sun...beet" and throwing his arms up in the air. They have singing time in the nursery and they sing "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam". When you sing "sunbeam", you throw your arms in the air. We never sing this song at home (well, we do now) so I know he learned it at nursery. He also knows "The Wheels on the Bus" from nursery. He just started singing it the other day.

3. We're setting an example. Going to church is important to us and our family. We want little frog to feel the same way. We want him to have the opportunities of participating in the activities with the other kids and getting into the habit of regular worship.

4. It's the right thing to do. Skipping out on church meeting just because it's not the easiest thing to do with a young child (or children) isn't a good enough reason. At least, not for me. Even though I get frustrated sometimes, it'll take a lot more than an unruly kid to keep me from church.

5. I just thought that there should be five reasons. I don't really have any more reasons to list...I just think there should be a number five. It didn't seem complete without it.

There. All better.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Knitting Schedule

The Crafty Conservative

For the first time since I've begun knitting in earnest (August 2004), I bought yarn without a particular project in mind for it. I feel like I've sort of entered a new phase of my knitting obsession. I started reading the blog, I'm Knitting as Fast as I Can and there was a contest to figure out how many pairs of socks she could make from her sock yarn stash. I'm obviously nowhere near having that kind of stash...however, I can see how that could easily happen to me.

So, I'm putting myself on a sort of knitting "schedule". If I get a chance to knit in the daytime, I will work on socks. I have one pair on the needles, although I'm about ready to frog it all and find a better pattern. I have one done already and I'm not too excited about how it turned out. I'll make an executive decision on the socks tomorrow. It's dark outside so I'm trying not to think about the socks. I just realized that they are harder to knit when the natural light doesn't come into the room. I guess I'm too blind.

When I get a chance to knit at dusk or later, I am going to work on my hooded sweatshirt found in Hip to Knit. That is also my "on the go" knitting right now. I'm working on the right front side so it is pretty portable. It's also 100 rows of stockinette now that I'm done with the ribbing so it's kind of mindless. I think that's why my eyes don't bug out so much when I work on that at night.

The top item on my Christmas wish list is a head lamp. Although, now I might have to tell my husband about the ear lamp that Yarn Harlot posted as part of her "Gifts for Knitters" series. I was kind of looking forward to knitting with a head lamp while watching The Amazing Race. Almost all of those teams wear them. Solidarity, you know.

I've digressed. Back to my schedule... I'm going to start a new project soon. But, I don't know where it will fit in my schedule. Daytime: socks. Nighttime: sweatshirt. My new project, you ask? Booga Bag. Maybe I'll relegate my sweatshirt to "on the go" status only while I work on the fabulous bag! I think I'll sleep on it and reserve judgment until tomorrow...or Monday. I better get a good night's sleep for a big day of decision making!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Adoption Woes

The Crafty Conservative

I think I've mentioned before that my husband and I are adoptive parents. The adoption process can be long and drawn out. Invasive. Uncomfortable. But, you know what? Can't the same thing be said for actual labor?

What I'm most upset about is the fact that many adoptive parents (and I'm sure birthparents as well) get taken advantage of. As soon as President Bush raised the adoption tax credit, the agencies raised their fees. The reason? "Oh, you'll get that back from the government". Maybe. Someday. My husband is on a fellowship at Purdue and makes enough money with that where we can live a comfortable life and take care of ourselves and a small family. I also work part-time as a Spanish teacher. We don't have $15K lying around to pay to some agency. It's frustrating. So, we end up cutting some corners by doing things ourselves. It helps that my husband and I are aren't looking for a "mini-me". In fact, I'm not looking to adopt white kids at all. There are plenty of people fighting and paying big bucks to adopt them. We want to adopt a child (or children) that may be considered hard to place. This, unfortunately, is mainly due to race. There are plenty of African-american families that adopt AA children. There just aren't enough. So, my husband and I are white. Our son is black. We are in the process of looking for our next child. I hope he or she shows up soon!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

I Miss You, Ken Jennings!

The Crafty Conservative

Jeopardy is not the same without Ken Jennings. My almost nightly routine of watching him kick the pants off of all his competitors is over. Okay, I still watch Jeopardy. I can't help myself. What is obsessed? The current champion (as of today) is a software engineer. But, he's no Ken Jennings (also a software engineer). It's a horrible tease to hear Johnny Gilbert (yes, I know the announcer's name) say, "Our current champion is a software engineer from [blah blah blah]" and not have it end with the name Ken Jennings.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

My Theme Song

The Crafty Conservative

Wouldn't it be cool to have your own theme song? I mean The Donald has one now. "Money money money MONEY....MONEY" You can't listen to that song now without thinking of him. At least, I can't. Many a good song, I'm sure, have been ruined this way.

So, thinking about Trump's song got me wondering. What could my theme song be? I don't think that there are a plethora of songs about super-crafty conservatives out there. But, as soon as I hear one...you can bet that I'll claim it as my own!

Monday, December 06, 2004

Longer is Not Always Better

The Crafty Conservative

Okay. I'm a novice knitter. My first attempt at using circular needles was with my failed oven mitts. Before I actually got them out of the package to use them, I didn't really get how they worked. A couple of weeks ago I bought another pair to do a felted bag. I thought that if I got a bigger circumference, I would be able to use them for more projects. Oops. So, for all you novice knitters out there...there are very few projects for which you need a 29" circumference on your circulars. I'm sticking with 16" from now on.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

The Oven Mitt disaster

The Crafty Conservative

I made it to row 30 of my oven mitt and realized that the amount of yarn it was taking was not worth the effort. One oven mitt was going to cost me approximately $15. I was hoping for more like $5-6 oven mitts (including the extra cost of the size 15 dpn). So, I frogged it and began making some felted potholders. I know, I know. Not as exciting. Back and forth in garter stitch is not what I was really looking for. But, it'll do. I'm getting down to the wire here. I'm absolutely in love with the yarn, though (see previous post). The colors are fabulous!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Oven Mitts with a bonus RECIPE!

The Crafty Conservative

Well, I went to my LYS to purchase an 85% wool/15% mohair blend to use for making felted oven mitts. I got 2 skeins each of deep red, deep green, and beige. What I failed to do was get size 15 dpn. You see, I have some size 15 circular needles and I thought those would do. Am I crazy? Is the circumfrence of an oven mitt really going to go around my circs? Of course not! I tried and tried. I must say, that I'm a beginner. I really haven't been knitting that long. So, you can't really blame me.

Cut to me BACK at the LYS to admit my lame mistake and to buy those darn size 15 dpn (that I'll probably never use again unless I just think that these oven mitts are awesome). So, after two trips to my LYS (luckily, it's only a mile away), I was ready to begin my oven mitts. My progress, you ask? I'm on row 14 just starting the thumb increases.

We had some friends over last night for dinner. I made one of my favorites...corn bread casserole. Here's the recipe:

1 package Tennessee Pride Mild Sausage, browned
1 can whole kernel corn
2 packages Jiffy corn muffin mix
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 to 1 1/2 cups of cheese (I used mozzarella but it could be cheddar, colby jack, or whatever)

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and then spread it into a 9 X 13 pan. I, of course, recommend the Rectangular Baker from Pampered Chef. It cooks more evenly and the bottom and the sides don't get too hard. Just a little of the PC salesgirl in me...

Bake at 375 degrees (F) for 25-30 minutes or until top is golden brown.

It tastes so good! The sweet cornbread and the (not too) spicy sausage are such a great combination. It's always a hit with whoever tries it.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Crafty Conservative
Okay, so technically it's the day after Thanksgiving. But, Happy Thanksgiving anyway! If the Christmas season can last for 2-3 months, then Thanksgiving can get an extra day.

Here's something that I really enjoyed last night. SURVIVOR! For the first time this season, I felt like I cared about what happened. Who would have thought that Twila and Chris could have hatched such a brilliant plan to break up Ami and Leann. Yeah! Oh, it's the simple things that make me happy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


My first pair of socks! I can't believe I actually made something that I can wear out in public. Okay, some of you may not wear these in public...but I will! And, I did! My high school students seemed pretty impressed with my "mad skills". One student said that they turned out better than he had imagined they would from my earlier description. So, needless to say, I'm proud! Posted by Hello

My first ever SnB meeting

The Crafty Conservative
Last night was my first SnB meet up. There were 5 knitters including myself. I worked on this zipped up hooded sweater from the "Hip to Knit" book. I just started it a week ago. I'm only about 50 rows into it. One knitter was working on an intarsia sweater. It's the first time I've ever seen anyone do that in person. It looks a little complicated. But, her yarn was gorgeous! She bought it at the Feast of the Hunters Moon.

In other news: I was so into knitting last night that after I came home from the meeting, I finished my socks!!!! Oh yes, and I have them on right now! I'm the only one awake at my house or I'd make my husband take pictures. I guess I'll have to post them later once I get back from work. The most exciting part about making them...finishing them and having only 6 INCHES of yarn left. How's that for planning (or lack, thereof)? I didn't have to get into the other skein. So, now I can take it back and trade it for some other color of sock yarn and start again!

Life is good.

Monday, November 22, 2004

The Amazing Race

The Crafty Conservative
I just realized that I failed to blog about The Amazing Race. It premiered this week. The first leg was exceptionally long (including a mandatory sleepover in Iceland). It gave a lot of people a chance to catch up...which always makes things exciting. In past seasons, it has been hard to know who to root for from the very beginning. In that case, I usually pick the old couple because they're usually the nicest. The nice thing about this season is that right away I know who to NOT like...those crazy entrepenuers from California. Oooh that man makes me so mad! What a jerk. But, for TV's sake, I'm sure they are hoping they don't get eliminated soon. It will certainly make for some entertaining tv. And, as long as they don't win (they certainly don't NEED the money---did you notice their car and home in the opening?) I'll be happy.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

One sock down!

The Crafty Conservative
I actually finished my very first sock! It's not quite a pair yet but it's getting closer. When I finished the first one, I followed the advice of every sock-knitter that I spoke with and immediately cast on for the second. But, I was so motivated, I probably would have done that anyway. It's absolutely adorable! I've put it on everyday since I've finished it. My husband doesn't get it. I even teared up a little. I am really just so proud of myself. I'm already to the length of the foot on the second sock. I anticipate that I'll have it done by Tuesday. I'm waiting to take pics until I have a complete pair. The bad news: I'm going to BARELY miss the one skein mark (100 g) and have to dig into the 2nd skein. It's a self striping yarn and I don't know what else to make out of it. There won't be quite enough for a scarf...nor is it the kind of yarn I'd like to have a scarf made out of. My son's baby doll is naked so maybe when I get around to making his little outfit it could be in this yarn. It would be funky striped (orange, pink, green, turquoise) but I don't think my son (or the doll, for that matter) will care.

Monday, November 15, 2004

What kind of girl are you?

The Crafty Conservative

Sunday, November 14, 2004


Frog modelling my first completed hand knit sweater. Also appearing: Sugar Daddy's legs. They're both so handome! Posted by Hello

Friday, November 12, 2004

Miscellaneous News

The Crafty Conservative
So, I've obviously not posted the sweater pictures. I haven't downloaded them from the camera yet. Mainly because I need some help from Sugar Daddy. We don't have any big plans tonight so maybe this can be it.

I was telling my bunko girls about my blog last night. I was giving them all pseudonyms. It was kind of fun. But, I must admit, I wasn't myself last night. I usually have a great time and am really competitive. I just didn't have it in me. I'm ready for this year's bunko to be over (last time Dec 4th). I won't be playing next year. But, I'm sure I'll be a sub here or there. I've been really disappointed in the lack of committment by some of the members. When they joined, we told them that you are committing to one night a month for 12 months. If you can't come, find a sub. Last night was one of the first nights we haven't had to scramble for a sub at the very last minute. But, the two people looking for subs didn't find their own. Other people had to do that for them. But, we played. It went well. I just wasn't my regular "chipper" self. So, it'll be nice to not have to worry about that next year.

I got Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte from the library. I got the book on tape version. I usually like to hear books in the car. It makes it seem like the time I spend in there isn't a total waste. I listened for about 5 minutes and I couldn't stand it. It was so hard to pay attention to. Maybe it's just not a book on tape type of book. Maybe I should try the print version before I render my final verdict. But, it's not looking good.

In crafting news: I bought some yarn (Lion Brand Wool-Ease) for my sister's poncho. I'm crocheting a pattern that I got from www.lionbrand.com . It's the crocheted ponchette. But, I'm not adding the fun fur. That seemed to be a little much for my taste (and my sister's I think). I'm adding fringe instead.

I joined the local chapter of Stich n Bitch. That's the last time I'm gonna write it like that. From now on it'll be SnB. I know...I'm such a prude! I haven't told any of my friends that I have joined. Probably because I don't want to have to say the name. I really hate cussing (even though I know that the intent of the name is not the derrogatory term of the word that I'm avoiding...I just can't bring myself to say it). From the yahoogroup emails I've been receiving, it seems like it's a good group. I'll go to my first meet-up with them on the 4th Monday of this month.

I think this post is making up for a lot of missed days...more to come.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The SWEATER!

The Crafty Conservative

So, I actually finished the sweater I was making for my little Frog. I guess I underestimated how much he has grown in the past few months. The sweater actually fits him now! He does have a little more room to grow but there is a very slim chance it will last him another season. I'm just glad I got if finished before the winter. I did make him wear it all weekend, though! We took some pics of him in it while he was outside playing in the leaves. I'll try and get them posted later today (for all of my readers--ha ha--I don't have any readers!).

My socks are coming along. I did the turn heel and the gusset. I was a little worried because for a while they didn't resemble socks. But, now, I am assured that they are in fact socks and will someday end up on my feet. Whether they will end up on my feet in public has yet to be determined. My next pair will be worked toe up so I can have the fantasy of trying them on after every couple of rows!

1 more week until The Amazing Race premiere!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Survivor Thursday

It's Survivor Thursday! I am one of those junkies that has NEVER missed an episode of Suvivor since Richard Hatch walked around in his birthday suit. This season hasn't proven itself to me yet but I stick around anyway and its the highlight of my day. Now, Amazing Race...that's a show I can really get into now. It's fun AND educational! It's like a field trip.

So, needless to say, I'm looking forward to tonight and counting down the days for the Amazing Race premiere (12 days).

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Introducing...The Crafty Conservative!

So, after having this blog set up for about a month now, I'm finally ready to start posting. I have a lot of different interests but I set this blog up mainly for my crafting endeavors. I need a place to post what I'm working on and also just to vent about what's going on in my life. I also want to be a voice for other crafty conservatives because I know there have to be others out there! I was totally surprised at the amount of backlash I have received in the crafting community for supporting George W. Bush. Well, I feel a lot better today knowing that while I may be in the minority in the crafting communities...I'm not alone among those that voted in this election.

I just deleted a huge chunk of this entry. It was very therapeutic to write but I'm not quite ready to send it out into cyberspace. I think I'll just stick to keeping this more crafty than conservative for a while.

I'm about 10 rows away from finishing my very first knitted sweater. It's for my son (to be known from here on out in the blogworld as Frog--age 21 mos). I was somewhat pessimistic in my abilities so I made it for him to be able to wear next year. But, as soon as I finish it you can bet that he's gonna wear it at least once this season!

Against my best judgement, I cast on another project before finishing the sweater. It's for a pair of socks for myself. The yarn is divine! The colors are so great and I can't wait to finish them. They'll look splendid with my new birkenstocks (conservatives can value great footwear, too...right?). Since I've started the socks, I haven't worked at all on my sweater. Maybe having it ready for next year wasn't such a foolish notion after all.

I crocheted a poncho for my mom a couple of weeks ago. My sister wants one now and I'm happy to oblige. I just need to go and buy some yarn. Oh no! My worst nightmare! A trip to buy yarn! I guess it should really be my husband's nightmare (he's really thrifty---he's also just given me some ideas on what his blogname should be and he will now be referred to as Sugar Daddy or SD for short. I see the irony in this now as I just mentioned his thriftiness and now he wants to be known as my SD? Oh well, I'll humor him). Anyway, back to the yarn. She wants some earth tones and something that won't shed. I'll see what I can come up with.

Frog's asleep now so it's prime knitting time before my eyes start to droop. I guess my first official blog entry is complete.